ask anything about DID

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by chaoticArbiter, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    hey, everyone!
    so there was some interest expressed in a thread where people could ask things about DID, anything they wanted, and I'd do my best to answer based on my personal experiences with DID! and as a result, I created this thread, where y'all can ask pretty much anything you want to about DID and my experiences with it!
    just a general rule, the discussion of 'is DID real or not' stays out of this thread. stuff like that would belong in this thread over here. as much as I enjoy that discussion, this thread is purely a place for talking about what DID is like for me, and discussion of whether or not it's real or whether or not I'm deceiving myself isn't really what I think belongs here.
    this is also going to be a space for my alters to chat with people, should they so choose to (which they may or may not, I don't really know how chatty or friendly they all are), and if they should pop up here you are free to ask them questions about their experiences with DID and dissociation and the like as well!
    I think that's everything, so....ask away!
    • Like x 3
  2. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    can you give us kind of a thumnail sketch of your situation, your alters, etc.?
    • Like x 1
  3. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    I can give you a general sketch of the symptoms I experience, what switches are like, how the alters and I communicate, how many there are, and who they are, if you like? I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but that's the best place I can think to start.
    • Like x 1
  4. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    yeah, that's p much what i'd like to know. i'm hella ignorant about DID, i know a lot of what i've encountered is misinformation but i don't know what the true information is. i really appreciate you being willing to share your personal experience.
    • Like x 1
  5. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Also, have your experiences/symptoms changed much over time, or have they stayed pretty constant but not been recognized as DID until recently?
  6. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    of course! I don't mind. I'm actually really hype to talk about this with people!
    all right, let's see...I think I'll start with the symptoms I experience, and then talk about the switches, and then the alters.
    so, symptoms:
    - voices, different from my typical psychosis voices. the psychosis voices are usually male and usually talk about things like hurting me or others I care about, or keep up a running commentary on what I'm doing and how it's stupid/dumb/I'm an idiot. the voices of my alters are varied in gender and typically offer advice or random comments. I'm told some of them haven't ever spoken to me, but the ones who do talk usually either offer commentary on what they would do in a situation (i.e. when I was freaking out about talking to a teacher about a thing, one of them told me "just talk to her".) it's usually not especially helpful, because they offer like one comment and then poof, but it's...interesting, I guess? some of the comments they offer are useless, also--like that time that the eight year old alter randomly popped in to say she wanted cookies. and it doesn't seem like they can really control when they comment--sometimes I can hear them, sometimes I can't, as opposed to my psychosis-caused voices, which are nearly constant when I'm off my medication.
    - dissociation, which for me is experienced as a feeling of disconnect from my physical body and thoughts and a distance from what's currently happening. it feels like there's a fog in my brain and like there's almost a wall between myself and my body--my body isn't really 'me', and 'I' am separated from the body. I'm nearly constantly dissociated, so I've adjusted to doing everything while feeling a physical disconnect from my body. it's a good time.
    - blackouts. there's not really much to say about these--they're basically just gaps in my memory. I've experienced memory gaps caused by severe dissociation before, but the difference is that with memory gaps from severe dissociation, talking about what happened jogs my memory. with these memory gaps, the blackouts, there's literally just nothing there. I can talk with people about what they say happened as much as I like, I can reread conversations, I can think about that time period as much and as often as I like, and there's just nothing there. it's like I went to sleep and woke up elsewhere, only I didn't dream.
    there really aren't that many symptoms that I personally experience--the main ones are near-constant dissociation, blackouts, and hearing voices. one thing my friends and partners have experienced is a person who appears to be, in body and face, me, talking to them and demanding to be called a different name, or walking and behaving in a different fashion and having different mannerisms and speaking in a different voice--for instance, my tone tends to be pretty even and low, but I'm told one of my alter's tones is very high-pitched, and once one of my partners made a joke that she was going to end up in dolphin range at some point.

    now, switches. for me...there really isn't much I can say about switches. it's like one second I'm here, and then the next second I wake up and I'm somewhere else, and I don't know what's happened and I don't remember the past few days or weeks or however long it's been, but I'm calmer and feeling better. it's like going to sleep, only rather than making the choice to put your head down and gradually fall asleep, you just instantaneously pass out on the spot, and then wake up a few days with no dreams or recollections or anything. it's very jarring and it's very un-fun and disorienting when I come back, and it's very not great to realize that hey, I've now lost several days to a week or two because I got upset. switches for my alters are a more conscious choice and less disorienting, or so they say.

    as for how the alters and I communicate--while I can sometimes hear them, they can't hear me. I can't seem to project my thoughts to them, or however it is they manage to speak, almost like speech communication in my head is a one-way mirror or something. additionally, me hearing their voices is a very faulty communication method--it doesn't always work and they can't really seem to control when it happens, it's just that suddenly they say something and I can hear it. so what we do to communicate is write notes back and forth--I have a journal that we keep the notes in, and we just write back and forth. the idea for alters is that they write about what they do when they take over, so that I'm aware of what happened and can pretend to have some knowledge of it to people who don't know of the situation, and also so that I can write things like "don't do this, do that, please do my chores if you're here on x day, don't talk to this person," etc.

    and now for some stuff about the alters. I will list them by name, age, and the pronouns they use, because....that's roughly all I know about them (the first time I left a note after learning about this situation, I requested that whoever was fronting leave me a list of names, ages, and pronouns, and they did). interestingly, most of them seem to have taken names from fictional characters or people I look up to, although thankfully none of them have taken the name of, say, one of my partners. yet. I'm just waiting for that to happen, honestly.

    previous list, relevant to the rest of this post:
    Dan - 21 - he/him
    Callie - 18 - she/her
    Alya - 24 - she/her
    Roxy - 18 - she/her
    Penny - 17 - she/her or they/them
    Kanaya - 17 - she/her
    Rose Strider (the singular fictive, apparently) - 18 - she/her
    Rosie - 8 - she/her
    Yang - 18 - she/her
    Neon - 17 - she/her

    current, updated list:
    Dan - 21 - he/him
    Alya - 24 - she/her
    Blue - 6 - she/her
    Chase - 7 - she/her
    Caden - 7 - he/him
    Gwen - 16 - she/her
    Kas - 19 - she/her
    Kailani - 17 - she/her
    Roxy Lalonde (fictive) - 18 - she/her
    Kanaya Maryam (fictive) - 17 - she/her
    Rose Strider (fictive) - 18 - she/her
    Davepetasprite^2 (fictive) - 17ish - they/them
    Yang Xiao Long (fictive) - 18 - she/her
    Neon Katt (fictive) - 17 - she/her
    Scarlet David (fictive) - 17 - they/them
    Blake Belladonna (fictive) - 17 - she/her or they/them
    Gavin Free (factive/fictive/???) - 14 - he/him
    Ray Narvaez Jr. (factive/fictive/???) - 14ish - he/him
    Nova (fictive) - 16 - she/her
    Musa (fictive) - 17 - she/her

    known dormant members (some of these are people who Dan knew who disappeared, so not all of them are necessarily dormant, but we're assuming they're dormant until proven otherwise; not a lot is known about these people except Rosie and Penny):
    Rosie - 8 - she/her
    Alaska - 20 - she/her
    Bridget - 11 - she/her
    Hazel - 6 - she/her
    Holly - 13 - she/her
    Lyric - 17 - they/them
    Phoenix - 19 - she/her
    Analise - 19 - she/her
    Gigi - 14 - she/her or they/them
    Elyon Brown (fictive) - 14 - she/her
    Hay Lin (fictive) - 14 - they/them or she/her
    Penny Polendina (fictive) - 17 - they/them or she/her

    integrated members:
    Callie - 18 - she/her

    so as you can see, there's ten of them, and they're...mostly teenagers, which I suspect is influenced by the fact that when a lot of them were forming, I was a teenager, and also wanted more teenage friends, and so a lot of them ended up teenagers, or I was a young kid, and wanted older people to take care of me and be nice to me and protect me. the ones who formed when I was youngest, Dan and Alya, are the oldest, I suspect because when I was a kid I really wanted a responsible, caring adult to take care of me and handle the things I couldn't, so my mind was like "okay, I'll make someone like that." I think Rosie is the result of me feeling like my childhood was ripped away from me, so my mind created a child to live out that aspect of life for me, because Rosie's...really a very stereotypical little girl, from what I know of her. she likes cookies and pink and chalk, and rereading her conversations with my friends and partners, she acts and sounds very much like a small child. I'm not really sure why I have a singular fictive, but she's there, apparently, and she's from a kidswap, and interestingly claims to have memories of her own world from before when she ended up in my head, but I know that's simply my brain fabricating things--alters are born from my mind, they don't come from anywhere else, because that would be literally impossible. and you know, I'd have really thought the one who took Kanaya's name would be the fictive, but no. apparently not. the other interesting thing is that none of them take last names--just first names--and it's always of a character or some person I look up to. like, Alya's named after my babysitter from when I was six. Dan is named after that Alya's boyfriend. Callie's named after Calliope of Homestuck, who I absolutely looked up to and loved with all my heart. same goes for Roxy, Penny, Kanaya, Yang, and Neon. Rosie is the exception to the rule--hers is a name that I was in love with as a child, and what I wanted to be called for a very long time as a kid, and that name, I think, was part of my 'ideal child/childhood'. like, if I could've picked a childhood, I would've not been abused, and been a happy kid, who got lots of cookies and chalk and liked the color pink, and was named Rosie. and apparently our Rosie appeared to fulfill that want. Rose Strider...I'm not totally sure where she came from, because I never really looked up to the kidswap character--I did like Rose Strider a lot as an idea, but not enough to warrant an alter being named after her, I don't think, but I guess some things will remain a mystery? or at least they will until I figure them out.
    Callie's the most recent formation, created in order to protect me from an abusive friend who threatened to kill himself, which was about a year ago now, and she is also the one who caused me to really start suspecting something was wrong, which led to the whole 'hey you have DID' debacle.

    honestly, they've stayed relatively consistent--ever since I was young, I experienced dissociation and blackouts, for as far back as I can remember, though the DID voices didn't start until about seventh grade, when I started hearing people telling me things every now and then, and the psychosis voices came out and about in eighth grade, and that's about when I was taken to see a psychiatrist, but I didn't mention the blackouts and dissociation until very recently because I never realized they weren't normal until kinda recently. it was only about a year ago they were recognized as DID, though, when I started journaling shit and talking to friends about the weird conversations they'd had with me claiming to be someone else, and then took it all to my psychiatrist, who looked at it pretty thoroughly and then said, "well, either it's psychosis plus some serious memory issues plus delusions plus dissociation, or you have DID." we're working with the DID theory for now, because my psychosis voices and DID voices are different, and because I do have memory issues but can distinguish blackouts from typical memory problems. should something arise to prove it's not DID, I would be very happy and willing to accept that.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  7. prismaticvoid

    prismaticvoid Too Too Abstract

    Do the psychosis-voices and the alter-voices ever interact with each other?
  8. mizushimo

    mizushimo the greatest hits

    Are all your alters aware of what goes on when you are in control? Do some of them experience blackouts like you do?
  9. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    no, and I'm not sure if they can--none of my alters have ever even reported hearing the psychosis voices, where I hear them nearly all the time (when I'm off my meds).

    they are aware, for the most part, of what goes on, although for them it seems to be a conscious choice of whether or not to pay attention. they can experience disorientation and difficulty dealing with their surroundings if they aren't paying attention and end up in front, but as far as I know they don't experience blackouts--though I've never properly asked if they do or not. whether or not they do might be a question better posed to one of them, because they could answer about their experiences better than I can.
  10. Mendacity

    Mendacity I’m meaner than my demons

    So your Kanaya alter isn't HS Kanaya yet you have a Rose! That's really interesting. Do any of your alters have any mood / mental quirks like depression or anxiety? Have any of them aged? Like, Rosie for example has she developed like a kid would mentally year by year?
  11. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    yeah, it's an interesting setup, particularly since the Rose remembers being with a Kanaya. which apparently makes things awkward. and yes, some of them do--Dan, for instance, has depression, and Callie has anxiety. but none of them have aged--Rosie hasn't developed as a kid would, she's stuck at age eight forever, and has been for several years, and will likely never age mentally beyond age eight.
    • Like x 1
  12. Elaienar

    Elaienar "sorta spooky"

    I think you mentioned in another thread that you need to convince your alters that integration is a good idea before you start the process, and that one of them has agreed already - who was that, and how did they come around to the idea of integration?
  13. liminal

    liminal I'm gonna make it through this year if it kills me

    I'm curious if they picked their own names, and how and why they picked them?
    Like, did they spend most of their live without names and decided that those names were pretty cool?
  14. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    that would be Dan. and to be honest, Dan's always been in favor of integration--he's not very fond of the idea that it's the equivalent of death for him, but he considers himself to be a split part of me (which he is) and understands it would be best for all the parts of me to be one whole person again.

    well, for the most part, they picked names around the time they came into being--Rosie's the only one who pretty much came into being with a name, the others looked for names after they came about. as for why they picked each name, you'd have to ask them--but with Callie, for instance, since she's the one who I learned about while she was still forming, she chose the name because I suggested it to her, among other reasons, I assume, like simply liking the name and how it sounds. I basically ran through a list of "here's some cool names I like" and wrote them all down and she was like "my name is Callie now".
    • Like x 1
  15. Mala

    Mala Well-Known Member

    Did you have any awareness of or communication with your alters before you got diagnosed?
  16. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    outside of the occasional hearing of their voices? not really, no. I knew that I was blacking out, and there'd been instances where people would tell me I acted weird during these blackouts, or people would call me by a different name and I'd be certain I'd never met them before, but there was zero communication between me and them.
  17. Mala

    Mala Well-Known Member

    What was the first conversation like? Did they know who you are and that they're alters?
  18. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    speculation--even they don't really know why they came about, they just know they're here.

    they knew who I was, but the terms 'alter' and 'DID' and the like were new to us all, and it was confusing for them to realize they're pieces of me rather than, say, their own people, or souls that got stuck, or something. they had their own ideas of how they'd come to be. also, the first 'conversation' wasn't really a conversation, it was giant note that got a response to it a week later in the form of another giant note.
    • Like x 2
  19. Mendacity

    Mendacity I’m meaner than my demons

    That's really neat? Like really neat! So alters really don't 'change' do they?
  20. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    they don't really change, that's correct.
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